Apple introduced its latest device to the world at an event in San Francisco today: the iPad
. Saying that it fit into the space between the iPhone and the MacBook, company CEO Steve Jobs praised the new device as Apple's "most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” The lowest-end model will retail for $499 US, and a fully-loaded 64GB iPad with 3G connectivity will sell for $829. The iPad will start shipping to customers in April, with 3G models coming a month after that.
The iPad is a half-inch (1.25 cm) thick, weighs 1.5 pounds (688 g) and has a 9.7-inch IPS touch screen with a 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch. It comes in three models: 16, 32 and 64 GB, with and without 3G; all models have WiFi and Bluetooth wireless. The battery lasts for 10 hours, and according to Apple, the iPad can remain on standby for a month without needing a charge. It comes with a standard 30-pin iPod/iPhone dock connector and can output HD video at 576x480 pixels, progressive or interlaced, with the optional Apple Composite A/V Cable.
“It’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone,” Jobs said of the iPad, sitting on a couch as he demoed its features. He showed the different capabilities of the device, browsing the Web (with a minor gaffe as a Flash plugin apparently failed to load), manipulating photos, playing music, videos and games, and reading e-books. “In order to really create a new category of devices, those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks,” Jobs said. “Otherwise it has no reason for being.”
Apple also introduced an App Store-like marketplace for electronic books called iBookstore at the event, as well as a multi-touch enabled version of iWork that will be available from the App Store for $30, or users can buy the Pages, Keynote and Numbers separately for $9.99 each. The iPad runs all current apps, either iPhone-sized with a large black-border, or at a 2x up-res full screen. Apple also announced a new SDK allowing devs to easily design for the iPad.
The device is powered by Apple's first CPU, the 1 GHz A4. Apple had purchased PA Semiconductor, a manufacturer known for making power-efficient processors, back in 2008. According to Apple, this SoC (system-on-a-chip) allows the iPad to play back HD video for 10 hours before requiring a full battery charge.
Gizmodo, among other websites, already have their hands on the iPad
and are putting it through its paces. Mark Wilson, Gizmodo's reviewer, says the device is extremely fast and has a solid feel. The size and resolution of the screen also won kudos. The device apparently runs a slightly modified version of the current iPhone 3 OS, which ought to be released with the iPad as iPhone OS 3.2
(rather than iPhone 4 as some rumors had held).
ModMyi.com also has an iPad Forums section live now.
image via Apple